I wasn’t sure if I was quite ready. In my heart, I wanted you out of my body; to be next to me, so I could smell your sweet scent and look into your wonder-filled eyes.

In my mind, I wanted you to stay in because I loved the feeling of your heart beating with mine, your hiccups jiggling my belly, and your kicks causing a smile with each jab.

You were born to leave me, so I decided not to be sad.

I wasn’t sure if I was quite ready. Sending you off to preschool seemed so scary; to put your safety and joy into the hands of another—a stranger—for at least a few hours of the day.

In my mind, I knew it would be best for you because I knew that being there would only benefit you and aid in your growth and development.

You were born to leave me, so I decided not to be sad.

I wasn’t sure if I was quite ready. It was your first day of Kindergarten, and at five-years-old, you just seemed so young to be away from me for over six hours a day.

In my mind, I was resentful of the time I would miss with you, but knew that if I wanted you to be ready for life, I had to let you experience life — without me by your side at all times.

You were born to leave me, so I decided not to be sad.

I’m not quite sure if I will be ready to send you to middle school when it is time. Why? Because I know at that time, expectations of you will be higher—those of your teachers, your friends, and those ever-changing ones you will have for yourself.

In my mind though, I know you will dominate your middle years—just as you have done everything else. Your strong, yet humble sense of self will successfully guide you through this time.

You were born to leave me, so when the time comes, I will decide not to be sad.

I’m not quite sure if I will be ready for you to go to high-school . . . ever. When I think about the stressors that mark the high-school years for most—college acceptance worries, peer pressure situations, balancing school-work, family time, and hobbies, the perils of young love (eek!)—I am nervous you will question who you are and your values.

In my mind, however, I know that these imperative years are when you will need me the most, and you will need me to be a stable, confident, and calm presence; so, I will have to step up—and I will.

You were born to leave me, so when the time comes, I will decide not to be sad.

I’m not quite sure if I will be ready for you to go to college, especially if you decide to go out-of-state. How will I live without you in my home? How will I know that you are doing okay?

In my mind, I know and trust that some independence will do well by you. How do I know that? Because it did the same for me.

You were born to leave me, so when the time comes, I will decide not to be sad.

I’m not quite sure I’ll be ready for you to get married—to lose you to another, who will then be partly responsible for keeping you safe and keeping you happy.

In my mind, I want your happiness-keeper to forever be my role. But, I know more than anything, that more love is better than less, and that I love anyone who believes their job is to love you.

You were born to leave me, so when the time comes, I will decide not to be sad.

You will undoubtedly, not too long from now, have a family of your own. And down the line, when the time comes for me to leave, I need for you to decide not to be sad.

Instead, decide to live out your life as a tribute to me, and the best way for you to do that is to live your life how you want it, in a way that makes you happy.

I was born to lead you, but I was also born to leave you, so when the time comes, don’t be sad—because I’m not. “Why?” you ask.

Well, because I am forever grateful that you were born to leave me, and that you are happy and living life like you were born to do.

Originally published on the author’s blog

Nicole Merritt

Nicole Merritt is a mother of three and the Owner and Founder of jthreeNMe, an imperfectly authentic peek at real-life marriage, parenting, and self-improvement. jthreeNMe is raw, honest, empowering, inspiring, and entertaining; it’s like chicken soup for those that are exhausted, over-stressed and under-inebriated, yet still utterly happy. Nicole's work has been featured by Scary Mommy, The Good Men Project, BLUNTmoms, Thought Catalog, Everyday Family, Motherly & many others. You can follow Nicole at jthreeNMe and on FacebookPinterestInstagram & Twitter!